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About the Book
They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South is a regional study draws upon formerly enslaved people's testimony to dramatically reshape current understandings of white women's economic relationships to slavery. The book is based on a revised dissertation, which won the Organization of American Historians' 2013 Lerner-Scott Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in U.S. women's history. Jones-Rogers puts the testimony and reflections of enslaved and formerly enslaved people into conversation with other narrative sources, legal documents, and financial records in order to show how white women's pecuniary investments in the institution shaped their gender identities and situated them at the center of one of the 19th-century America's most significant economic exchanges. As a whole, this book offers more expansive and differently gendered understandings of American slavery, the trans-regional domestic slave trade, and nineteenth-century slave markets.
About the Author
Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California-Berkeley. She earned her Ph.D. in History from Rutgers and her research focuses primarily upon gender and American slavery, with a particular interest in colonial and 19th century legal and economic history, especially as it pertains to women, systems of bondage, and the slave trade. She is currently working on a study of how West African customs and laws influenced English thinking about matrilineal descent and may have influenced their decisions to implement matrilineal descent laws in their North American colonies. She is also studying the lives of nearly 300 British women and girls who traveled to the African littoral on Royal African Company slave ships and settled in the company’s forts and castles before 1750.